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The New Zealand media and the Moment of Truth

Originally posted on Left Side Story:

During and immediately after Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth, overseas media was reporting the event in a way that we can only dream of in New Zealand:


According to the Guardian, Greenwald began the Moment of Truth “by marvelling at the criticisms he has faced from Key, who has labelled him ‘Dotcom’s little henchman’ and a loser.” How shameful for us as New Zealanders to have our Prime Minister say this about an internationally renowned, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist (while the media hacks that write for the Herald and Fairfax are more than OK with Key!).

The Guardian continues: “‘It is not all that common to arrive in a country, and within 24 hours, literally, find oneself being publicly maligned and attacked by the nation’s head of state, using the most adolescent epithets imaginable,’ said Greenwald to applause, and peals of laughter from Dotcom.”

Later: “The biggest roar of…

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A day in the life of NZ’s very own Daily Mail

Originally posted on Left Side Story:

According to its website, Fairfax’s “covers every aspect of news and information, from breaking national and international crises through to in-depth features, sports, business, entertainment and technology articles, weather reports, travel services, movie reviews, rural news… and lots more. Stuff is New Zealand’s award winning news and information website, bringing together the vast resources of Fairfax New Zealand Ltd several hundred journalists and photographers around the country to provide a single online ‘publication’.”

Impressive! So let’s see what Fairfax’s vast resources have managed to provide us in the way of news today:

-  A feud between two American celebrities. At time of writing this sentence, this was headline news on There was even a picture of Taylor and Katie, presumably taken before their tragic falling out. I eagerly clicked on the headline only to be disappointed to find the feud isn’t even confirmed by either singer!


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David Cunliffe’s message resonates with National supporters: poll.

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Originally posted on [Insiders] :

It’s going from bad to undeniably catastrophic for Prime Minister John Key, with a fresh poll indicating more and more National voters are leaning to Labour leader David Cunliffe.

Last night’s ONE News poll for John Key was labeled “soul destroying” for National – but the Roy Morgan ‘worm poll’ results have blown it out of the park with David Cunliffe resonating positively with voters. 

Roy Morgan’s Worm poll results show John Key only resonated with Labour voters once throughout the entire debate, whereas David Cunliffe was preaching to the National-faithful constantly. 

John Key’s poll lifted when he reinforced his support for gay marriage, although this could have been unwise as Mr. Key has been gunning heavily for the conservative Pacific vote recently based on National’s so-called family values foundations. The Pacifica vote is usually Labour-assured, but some found themselves disillusioned with the party over changes to the definition of…

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The latest WhaleDump – The Hotchin Files

Originally posted on Trickle:

defence media strategy 1defence media strategy 2hanover - is that it 1hanover - is that it 2hanover - is that it 3hanover - is that it 4hanover - is that it 5hanover - is that it 6hanover - is that it 7hanover - is that it 8mh c&m instructions 1mh c&m instructions 2mh c&m instructions 3mh c&m instructions 4mh wants campaign 1mh wants campaign 2no moneystrategy mh call 1strategy mh call 2way forward

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Fairfax media is backing its horse no matter what

Originally posted on Left Side Story:

Every good story needs a hero and a villain, and the story of New Zealand politics according to Fairfax Media’s is no exception. Fairfax has a hero in John Key and a villain in David Cunliffe. Unfortunately for Stuff, Key and Cunliffe are not characters but people. John Key is not a hero but an all-too fallible human being. This becomes a problem for Stuff when their careful construction of each character begins to break down; when, for whatever reason, the public is able to glimpse for itself the reality of the people involved, without events being mediated through the propaganda machine that is the NZ mainstream media. This is what happened last night with the leader’s debate. Anyone who watched the debate would have seen a calm and reasonable Cunliffe debating with a rattled and sweaty Key. cannot let this stand, and must reinterpret the debate to…

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Pimping Key’s Government – and the NZ National Party

Is it time to call out the Rightwing propagandists lurking in New Zealand’s news media? 65267_257409244384249_1323944169_n

After excessively overstating the importance of their own Key-friendly rogue poll last week, this week has seen a barrage of propaganda from Fairfax Media, led as ever by their in-house National Party spin doctor, Tracy Watkins.

Watkins’ official role is political editor for Fairfax Media NZ, but a quick scan through her work will quickly quash any pretense of political neutrality, as her ongoing editorial love-in with John Key prevents her from applying any of those long lost journalistic standards; fairness, accuracy and balance.

Perhaps accompanying John Key on all those international trips has brainwashed her into being a true Key-believer, or maybe she is employed by Fairfax Media precisely for her willingness to abandon journalistic ethics and instead churn out endless column inches of National Party spin.  Whatever the reason, her output of propagandist puff-pieces on behalf of Key and co this week is simply a continuation of the work she’s done since long before this blog was established.

Two weeks ago, Watkins demonstrated her shameless National Party partisanship, by elevating beyond credibility the importance of their own questionable in-house polls, showing a rogue result in favour of her National Party buddies. She’s an absolute disgrace, and should declare her loyalty to John Key overtly, rather than posing as an independent journalist at New Zealand’s largest news corporation.

Meanwhile, her colleague Vernon Small took aim at the Labour Party conference, with a list of every marginally radical topic that might be discussed. Fair enough angle, I suppose, if you want to stir up a bit of fear-mongering among your uninformed reactionary readership, but not exactly fair, accurate or balanced.  Imagine if opened their coverage of a National Party conference with a subjective list of every crazy, unelectable, hard right idea that might get chucked around there – never going to happen.

This week, Fairfax followed up by leading their political “news” day after day with glowing testaments to the strong relationships and dynamics within the National Party.  “John Key – living the dream”, “Key credits team for National’s success”, “Chemistry bonds ex-political rivals” asserted the headlines, in blatantly spin-driven puff-pieces that could have been written by Crosby-Textor, and in many ways probably were.

As I have always maintained on this page, Fairfax Media have every right to act as a public relations service for the political Right in New Zealand.  But, instead of attempting to manipulate their readers by posing as an independent news media corporation, it is essential for our democracy that they state, once and for all, exactly where their partisanship lies.  This is obviously clear to informed New Zealanders, but readers of are generally – by design – lacking in balanced political understanding.

Come on Fairfax!  Declare your hand, so that New Zealanders can make an informed choice about where they source their political information.  If we wanted National Party spin, surely we would simply visit the National Party website instead.

There have been calls for a targeted blitz on Twitter, to out the most heavily-biased journalists in New Zealand’s news media.  It’s a call that is gathering momentum, and, unless journalists and media outlets declare their bias in no uncertain terms very soon, I believe this will be the obvious next step in combating what is clearly an assault on our democracy by powerful Righwing organisations.

To find out more about any of this, or to simply register your dissatisfaction with the current situation, please join us on Facebook , share with your friends, and boycott Fairfax publications such as The Dominion Post and Sunday Star Times.

Thanks for your interest.

Is John Key writing for Fairfax? responds to Key’s poll woes with barrage of National Party spin.  johnkey

Readers might be forgiven for thinking a story published under the headline “Labour surges in latest poll” might actually include some comment from the Labour Party.

But, not at Fairfax.

It appears that, as they are now unable to ignore polls pointing to their boy John Key’s demise, Fairfax Media have come out swinging on behalf of their chums in the National Party.

The result is simply not a news story; from beginning to end it’s a summary of the National Party’s propaganda, disguised as journalism.

Aside from the sheer ridiculousness of John Key preaching “morals”, Fairfax publish without question his twisted analysis of the political spectrum.  Key’s repeated claims that the most dictatorial Right-wing Government in New Zealand’s history, are actually  “Centre-Right”, while the Opposition are “far-Left”, are published as gospel , without any response or comment from the Labour Party.  This perhaps tells us as much about Fairfax’s political stance as it does about the National Party’s.

It is of course Fairfax Media’s prerogative to act as a mouthpiece for the National-led Government, despite the dangerous implications of such abject contempt for democracy within New Zealand’s largest media corporation.  They do however, at least owe their readers and subscribers a level of openness, and should declare overtly their political partisanship so that Kiwi voters can make an informed choice about where they source their political information.

As Fairfax clearly have no intention of being honest with their readers about their relationship with the National Party, it is left up to informed New Zealanders like you to spread the word.  If you are sick and tired of Fairfax Media abusing their privileged position to publish National Party propaganda dressed up as independent news, please share this piece, join us on Facebook , avoid and boycott all Fairfax publications.


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